Post # 1
Trying to figure out when the dividing line is on this. We’re invited to a 1YR birthday party, for Darling Husband cousin’s child. We live out of state and haven’t seen in over 2 years and never speak. We were invited to the baby shower, sent a gift in the mail and then radio silence until now.
If we get invited to things we always send gifts but its making me think… we only hear from them when theres an opportunity to provide a gift. We don’t want bad blood but can’t see us being close enough to exchange gifts for the long haul even if we had an opportunity. Feels like a gift grab. Any advice?
Post # 2
I wouldn’t jump to gift grabby, maybe they invited all family. It’s also not necessary to always send a gift when you are not close at all. If they make a petty remarks about you not sending a gift, then yes it’s gift grabby.
Post # 3
honeybee26 : There is no clear answer. Some people would say they just want you to feel included, even though you live out of state, and are not expected to attend.
I would send a nice card with your best wishes.
Post # 4
honeybee26 : It could go either way I think. I mean, a baby shower and a 1st birthday party are big deals and IMO are more about family than friends. I don’t have children, but I imagine for a first birthday I would invite all family members, even those out of state, though I wouldn’t be expecting them to attend. I’m pretty close with my dad’s cousins although they are interstate, they are like more aunties/uncles.
First birthday presents are stuff for the kid anyway and most parents I know bemoan that they already have too much stuff for their children, so I don’t think it would make much sense for them to invite you purely as a gift grab.
If I were you, I would send a book for the child with a personal inscription on the front. That doesn’t cost much and kids can never have too many books.
Post # 5
I hate being excluded from events just because I live far away. I go pretty regularly to visit my family back home, so there’s always a chance that I’ll be there, and it doesn’t hurt to extend an invitation.
I just wouldn’t feel obligated to send a gift for something like this, though I agree with PP that a book would be nice.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t consider it gift grabby, it costs a lot of money to host a party and obviously the more people the more money, so I highly doubt someone would invite someone to a one year old’s birthday party just for a gift.
Honestly, a lot of people use big events like milestone birthdays as a way to catch up with people they miss that they don’t see often. I have a ton of extended family that I only see for special celebrations like special birthdays, graduations, religious ceremonies or weddings because we’re all so busy and all live an hour or more away from eachother that it’s not really convenient catch up on any normal day. We don’t invite each other to these events for gifts, we invite each other because it’s an excuse to see each other and we enjoy catching up
Post # 7
I wouldn’t read into it too much. Personally, I would suspect it may be gift grabby. But they honestly may be trying to include you. I wouldn’t feel obligated to send a gift either. I use to send gifts to events I could not attend, but no longer do for smaller events since I live across the country and people seem to rarely send me gifts (although I don’t invite them to much..).
Post # 8
They might just be trying to include you, but I also wouldn’t send a gift. I’d maybe send a fun card, like one of the ones that plays music or something.
Post # 9
honeybee26 : Hard to say, but I would just politely decline and send a card.
Post # 10
honeybee26 : I feel gift grabby inviting people that live far away and I already know can’t attend an event so I don’t send an invitation. Apparently this causes hurt feelings among some of my husband’s family because they want to feel included even if they won’t come. I try to make them feel included other ways, but I don’t want to pay for extra invites and postage for people that I know won’t come – that’s just silly and wasteful.
Post # 11
I’d say that’s a bit grabby. A baby’s first birthday party is usually for intimate family members or close friends. The fact that you are out of town and have not been in touch at all makes this a real stretch, though it’s possible they invited other local cousins and didn’t want you to feel left out.
I would just call or send a note with my regrets, wishing them well.
Post # 12
They may just be inviting all family or wanting you to feel included. I don’t think it’s expected to send a gift in that situation if you decline anyway.
In my experience, if you’re invited to a wedding or shower then you can send a gift – but you’re not obligated to (at least in my circle). You’re definitely not obligated to send a gift to your out-of-state cousin’s kid’s 1st birthday that you can’t attend.
Post # 13
Do they send you thank you notes for your gifts? Or do you send them and not hear anything back?
Wheb I was a child my mom made it clear that I needed to write thank you notes anytime anyone gave me a gift. She made me understand that if I didn’t send a thank you note that was rude and I might not get another present from that person If i didnt send them a thank you note.
To this day I send thank you notes mostly bc it’s the kind thing to do but also I remember my mom reminding me.
Good rule of thumb. If they aren’t sending you thank you notes when you send a gift then stop sending them. They have the balls to ask why you don’t send gifts anymore? You say, well we never got thank you notes or anything like that so we worried our gifts weren’t even getting to you, or being lost in the mail. Should embarrass them.
Post # 14
I invited everyone who was invited to the baby shower to the first birthday, just for the sake of inclusion. If they hit you up again next year you may have a problem 😉
Post # 15
weddingmaven : I’m no expert but that was my first impression also that it was supposed to be quite intimate and not invite extended family members theres no relationship with